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Finding the Right LIMS

So, the good news is you’ve finally had management sign off on your project to implement a new LIMSor replace an outdated system, hard part over, right? All that's needed now is to pick a vendor and system and get cracking with the project! Unfortunately, this stage can often be where the water becomes a little muddied for many companies looking to invest in their informatics structure. This can be partly through sheer quantity of LIMS offerings available on the market, and oftentimes, as a result of incomplete or inaccurate requirements analysis.

Although the list of considerations to look at when choosing a LIMS is almost endless, I’ll be highlighting some key thing to look out for to help you find the right LIMS to fit your business (avoiding a nightmare implementation).

What do you need from a LIMS?

It may seem like an obvious point but conducting a detailed requirements analysis of what your business needs from a new system is a crucial first step. One of the great advantages of the range of LIMS applications available on the market is that there are several systems specifically suited to different areas; whether they be R&D, manufacturing, or testing, identifying a vendor and a system perfectly suited to your requirements and business area is massively beneficial. The right vendor will help you to navigate the application itself, offer support, and have sound knowledge of whichever product you select.

Implementing a LIMS is also not a cheap endeavour, so it’s important to ensure you’re not paying for a system with unnecessary extra modules and functionality not relevant to your business. Some vendors provide purely out-of-the-box offerings suiting companies looking to streamline several different areas of their laboratory, whilst others offer bespoke systems built to suit smaller companies with limited workflows. It’s about finding which one is right for you and your requirements.

Things to consider...

Budget

Particularly at system selection stage, costs can quickly stack up. The license for the applications isn’t the only financial aspect to consider, so be sure to budget effectively for consulting services, support, training, and any other system-specific aspects that can’t be managed in-house.

Even if their LIMS system is perfect for your business, some vendor’s support and consulting services can cost significantly more than others. Stepping back to look at the bigger picture before making your choice will give you the clarity necessary to be 100% sure of the investment you’re making!

Staffing

Having the correct staff can make or break a LIMS implementation - and is linked heavily to system selection stage.

A smaller vendor may offer you a great price for the system itself, but if you’re looking to add permanent or contract resource to your team to handle the implementation and administration, you should be considering whether they have a strong LIMS skill base in their marketplace?

Similarly, looking at a large vendor’s system with a strong skill presence in the market, you may be looking at paying more for the initial license. Alongside these costings, you may also potentially incur higher support charges if you can’t identify the correct talent to bring into your business with high competition for certain skills.

What about your existing staff base? Oftentimes the most successful implementations are handled by staff members with either a scientific background, expert knowledge of the companies processes and workflows (and a penchant for IT/technology), or someone who has been seconded onto a project (alongside external consultants), to great effect.

Your thoughts?

Which LIMS vendor have you chosen? I’d be interested to hear what your experiences have been selecting a LIMS, both good and bad! Connect with me on LinkedIn (Daniel Wallace) or reach out to me at:

📨 daniel.wallace@itworkshealth.co.uk

☎️ 01772 278050​